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Community leader to receive IUís highest alumni honor

Dr. Clarence Boone of Gary will receive Indiana Universityís highest honor for alumni during IUís Cream and Crimson homecoming weekend ceremony in Bloomington, Ind.

Five alumni will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award on Sunday, June 15 in Alumni Hall, Indiana Univeristy Memorial Union. The award is given for distinguished service in the recipientís chosen field and for significant contributions that benefit the community, state or nation.

Boone is a tireless leader for both the city of Gary, Indiana University and IU Northwest. His career as an obstetrician and gynecologist spanned 35 years. He has encouraged countless youths, many of whom he delivered, to pursue their own dreams of higher education.

It was Booneís dream to become a doctor. He was one of five African-Americans to enter the IU School of Medicine in 1952 and the only one to graduate in four years. As an undergraduate at IU, he worked closely under his mentor former Chancellor Dr. Herman B. Wells. Wells was instrumental in promoting diversity and making campus facilities accessible to African-American students. Boone said Wells made a lasting impression on him.

"I am where I am today because of mentors like Dr. Wells and teachers who helped me realize how to achieve my goals," he says. "So when I tell students to keep their dream alive, Iím speaking from experience and trying to instill the same determination that others instilled in me at a young age."

He has served his alma mater in both elected and appointed posts. One of his main goals was to further promote diversity within the university and alumni. Boone is a co-founder and former national president of the

Neal-Marshall Alumni Club, which is named after the first African-American male and female graduates of IU. He served as president of the Indiana University Alumni Association and on the Executiveís Council.

Now retired, Boone was the president of Gary Medical Specialists Inc., a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, medical director of Planned Parenthood of northwest Indiana and former medical staff president of the Methodist Hospitals of Gary. In 2000, Boone was inducted into the Steel City Hall of Fame, a visual display at the Gary Public Library honoring individuals who have enriched the lives of others through their careers and volunteer work.

Currently, Boone is still active in the community serving as a chairman for the Community Development Corporation of St. Timothy Church in Gary. He is working with the church and CDC of Gary in developing the Josephine B. Lowery Condominium Project. He is also an ambassador to Edgewater Systems for Balanced living, a member of the IU Northwest Chancellorís Cabinet and member of the IU Foundation.

He said he also tries to spend as much time as possible with his wife and grandchildren. Boone has said of all the accomplishments in his career he is most proud of, is seeing the life achievements of students heís mentored, babies heís delivered, or patients heís cared for.

"When someone from 30 years ago remembers some small thing I did to help them out and says ĎThanks for what you did,í it means a lot. Thatís the kind of accomplishment Iím proud of."

The DASA will also be presented to Gayle Karch Cook, Bloomington, Ind.; Alecia A. DeCoudreaux, Indianapolis; Larry R. Ellis, Atlanta; and Patricia R. Miller, Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Indiana University Cream and Crimson Alumni Weekend is held each year in June at Indiana University in Bloomington. As part of the weekend festivities, the university recognizes outstanding alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Sevice Award. The university's highest accolade reserved solely for its alumni, this award provides recognition for outstanding achievements by the men and women of Indiana University. The awardee shall have been outstanding in his or her chosen field of endeavor. The awardee shall also have made significant contributions benefiting his or her community, state, nation, or university. Since its inception in 1953, 268 Indiana University alumni have been so honored.

For more information on the 2003 Indiana University Cream and Crimson Alumni Weekend, please visit the website at



Media Contact:

Michelle Searer

Kim Kintz

Dr. Clarence Boone
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